War, violence and hunger are widespread. Years of continuous political crisis have brought extreme violence into the smallest villages and made normal day-to-day life impossible. Millions of people have fled their homes, losing their livelihoods in the process.
Many small farmers, who were previously self-sufficient through their farming, have not been able to tend their fields for nearly two years, as they fear for their lives. The situation across the country is dramatic: 7.7 million people go to bed hungry every day. 1.9 million children under five are severely malnourished.
Eentire Harvests are going to Waste
After his visit to the DRC, Till Wahnbaeck points one of the great strengths of Welthungerhilfe: the NGO is unique in combining emergency aid with long-term thinking.
The vicious circle of flight and hunger is particularly acute in the province of Ituri. Since early March 2018, the renewed outbreak of violence in the area of Djugu, the “breadbasket” of the region, has exacerbated the security and humanitarian situation to a critical level.
So far 425,000 people have had to flee to the neighbouring regions of Irumu, Aru, Mahagi and the city of Bunia. They live in camps or with host families, and they have been cut off from their livelihoods. Fields are left untended and entire harvests are going to waste. The UN Refugee Agency is already describing it as a hunger crisis.
Welthungerhilfe starts emergency assistance in Ituri
Outside assistance is urgently needed. Welthungerhilfe is supporting the people of DR Congo. In addition to long-term projects to fight malnutrition, an emergency assistance project is currently starting in the province of Ituri. The top priority is access to drinking water and ensuring basic hygiene. Welthungerhilfe also distributes tarpaulins, blankets, metal containers, mosquito nets, seeds and tools to support the refugees and enable them to begin farming again.
The Democratic Republic of Congo urgently needs political stability. A country so rich in natural resources, water and fertile land would be well capable of supplying the needs of its population. The country must find a path to stability, to counter corruption, violence and poverty.